Wednesday, April 14, 2021

 Psalm 23 

Part 3
By Vicky Moots

“The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want. He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: he leadeth me beside the still waters. He restoreth my soul: he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name’s sake. Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou are with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me. Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies: thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over. Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: and I will dwell in the house of the Lord for ever.” Psalm 23

Psalm 23:3a: “He restoreth my soul.”  “Restore” means “to give back something taken away or lost; to make restitution of; to bring back to a former condition, or position, place or rank; to return to original or better condition; to bring back health or strength.”  In the medical field we use physical therapy to try and improve function.  Maintenance therapy means to maintain your current function without losing ground, or strength.  Restorative therapy, however, is the ultimate goal for someone who has lost function due to illness, injury or a surgery.  Ideally, we would like to see patients improve to the point that they are better than they were prior to the incident that caused them to lose function.

God is able to restore us completely.  He doesn’t just patch up our old life; we become a new creation in Christ.  II Cor. 5:17: “Therefore, if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature [creation]:  old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.”  We are fully and completely restored by the blood of Jesus; not made just as good as new, but new!

But what happened to our soul in the first place that would cause us to need restoring? The first definition of “restore” says “to give back something taken away or lost.”  Who took it away or how did we lose it? Jesus gives us the answer in John 10:10 in His discourse on the Good Shepherd: “The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy...”  The thief was Satan who tempted Eve in the Garden of Eden to eat of the tree which they had been forbidden to eat.  She believed his lie and ate the fruit and gave it to Adam, who also partook.  Prior to that time, they were innocent and lived in a perfect environment.  They were naked and not ashamed.  They could walk and talk with God without fear.  After they sinned, they lost their innocence and their relationship with God, and hid from His presence.

At that point they died spiritually and death entered into the world.  Then they were driven out of the Garden.  But God did not leave them hopeless.  He clothed them with coats of skin to cover their nakedness and promised a Redeemer, represented by the animal that was slain and shed its blood to provide their clothing.  That Redeemer was Jesus, who said in the rest of v. 10, “I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.”

The thief, Satan, came to steal, kill and destroy and brought sin and death into this world, but Jesus brought life.  He was the Good Shepherd who gave His life for the sheep, v. 11.  This was prophesied in Psalm 69:4: “…I restored that which I took not away,” and was fulfilled when He died on the cross.  Jesus restored what Satan took away, because of God’s grace we receive much more through salvation, through that restoration, than was lost in the fall. Jesus exchanged death to us for life, His abundant life, eternal life.  He provided for us complete restoration: body, soul and spirit through His death on the cross.

Our fellowship with God has also been restored so that we can now come into His presence without fear.  We are invited to do that in Heb. 4:16: “Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.” In addition, He continues to restore our strength daily through spiritual physical therapy as we exercise our faith by trusting Him to lead us, and as we feed upon His Word and commune with Him.

To be continued